Elizabeth May named Parliamentarian of the Year at gala Ottawa event

Elizabeth May has impressed many by capturing the media spotlight despite being in a caucus of one.Our MPs went to POTY on Wednesday night.

No, it's not what you might think — POTY is the rather unfortunate acronym for the Parliamentarians of the Year awards presented annually by Maclean's Magazine and  L'acutalite.

It was a star-studded event at Ottawa's Fairmont Château Laurier with a large contingent of MPs and cabinet ministers on hand to see Green Party Leader Elizabeth May win this year's top honour.

May, who has impressed many by capturing the media spotlight despite being in a caucus of one, received the 'Parlimentarian of the Year' award.

"I am so honoured to receive such an enormous award from my colleagues in the House," May said in a press release.

"I am the first woman to receive the Parliamentary of the Year award. And certainly I hope by next year, or even next week, I will not be the only Green MP."

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The evening's other most coveted honour went to Reform Party founder Preston Manning, who earned the Lifetime Achievement award. Last year that award went to the late Jack Layton.

The neat thing about these awards is that they're actually voted on by MPs. In other words, MPs vote for members in other parties.

In an interview with MacLeans magazine, John Baird, a former best Parliamentarian, said that MPs from opposing parties actually get a long better than the public might think.

"What gets the media attention is the discord and disagreement. Whenever something is hot it leads on the news but there a number of folks you can work across the aisle with, you can work collegially with," Baird said

"There are some people though that are a lot tougher to work with. Sometimes personal political differences get in the way but that doesn't happen as often as you might think."

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Here is the full list of winners:

Parliamentarian of the Year: Elizabeth May (GPC); Runner up: Bob Rae (LIB)

Hardest Working: Kirsty Duncan (LIB); Runner up: Olivia Chow (NDP)

Best Orator: Bob Rae (LIB); Runner up: Charlie Angus (NDP)

Most Collegial: Peter Stoffer (NDP); Runner up: Rodger Cuzner (LIB)

Most Knowledgeable: Stephen Harper (CON); Runner up: Peter Julian (NDP)

Rising Star: Michelle Rempel (CON); Runner up: Ted Hsu (LIB)

Best Represents Constituents: Niki Ashton (NDP); Runner up: Cheryl Gallant (CON)